Keith White' Post

ANVIL Journal of Theology and Mission

“Doing theology with a child in the midst” is at the heart of the Child Theology Movement (CTM We do theology this way in the hope that the theological reflection and engagement that comes from this can inform the mission and ministry of the whole church, not just work with children. This phrase is taken from Matthew 18:2 and reflects the action of Jesus in responding to his disciples’ question about who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.

CTM evolved from international conferences about children at risk; reports of these conferences can be found on our website and give an understanding of the breadth and scope

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Godly Play

Godly Play – European Perspectives on Practice and Research

Ed Martin Steinhauser and Rune Oystese

Munster: Waxmann 2018

This is a wide-ranging and substantive resource for all who are interested in Christian Education in general, and Godly Play (GP) in particular.  It is a collection of papers from fifty authors most in English and some in German covering a breadth of perspectives, a range of descriptions, a variety of research and analysis, and information on how Godly Play has reached and developed in 17 countries.  The publication came out of a day conference in Riga Latvia, held in September 2016. Prospective readers will be interested to know that it contains a typically open and honest piece by Jerome Berryman, the founder of Godly Play.

Before presenting

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CTM Newsletter No 15 December 2017

As Christmas nears here is a brief digest of news over recent months.

In July 2016 the journal Transformation devoted an edition (Vol 33 No 3) to Children at Risk, guest- edited by Bill Prevette and Susan Greener.

The book Entry Point by Haddon Willmer and Keith White has been translated into Spanish, and published under the title Punto de Ingreso.  It is available in hard copy or a Kindle edition.

A two-part conversation on the future or futures of Child Theology took place in 2016.  The report of the event in London is on the website, and papers from Melbourne in hand, but a report still awaited.  Helpfully the gathering at High Leigh listed a raft of possible ideas and actions, and the new board has begun to process these.

In June this

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The Future of Child Theology Consultation – Melbourne, 7-11 Nov. 2016

A consultation on


Centre for Theology and Ministry, Melbourne, Australia, 7-11 November 2016

Thinking under the banner of Child Theology has been developed since 2002.   Child Theology belongs to the wide span of Christian activity which brings children and theology together.  It shares with many others a concern to see and value children in the full light of the good news of God in Jesus Christ.   It is also specially committed to thinking and talking of God with the child placed by Jesus in the midst.  What that aim implies and how it might be achieved are still open questions which are central to this consultation concerned with the future of Child Theology.

It is intended to be a participatory, open,

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Nathaniel Darling shares his thoughts following a week spent working with the Child Theology Movement

Thanks to Nathaniel Darling for sharing this post with us – first published on

10 AUGUST 2016

The week before last saw a consultation on the future of the Child Theology Movement take place at High Leigh conference centre, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. This is a movement Haddon Willmer has been closely involved with from its beginnings in the late 1990s, and I was fortunate to be able to participate in last week’s consultation as a note-taker and administrator.

CTM (3) (300x95)Child Theology is a young term, with no clearly defined subject matter, so a wide range of topics were discussed: the role of human rights’

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Saying the Lord’s Prayer from a different perspective – from Haddon Willmer

As we concluded our time together at High Leigh, Haddon Willmer offered this reading of the Lord’s Prayer from a ‘different perspective’.

Deliver us from the evil – of ever giving up praying this prayer

  • whatever the pressure of temptation.

Deliver us from losing the ‘our’ to make the Father ‘mine’.

Deliver us from claiming the Kingdom now rather than steadily praying for it to Come.

Deliver us from seeking the Father in heaven as though he has abandoned the earth

  • where there is stomach hunger for missing daily bread
  •  where there is sinning up to seventy times seven

Deliver us from escaping the Father’s house  to seek our misfortune in the far country

Rather let us ever and again find our way back to our Father’s  welcome feast with all the household

So let his name,

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Can Theology Audit Organisations? (Action-Reflection from field work)

My friend and colleague David Chronic (lives and works in Romania and is the regional director Word Made Flesh )

David is new to our Child Theology Blog. We had a long Skype call the other night about the role of theology in serving poor families and children in his setting, Galati, Romania. I used the term in our conversation ‘theological audit’

He sent me an interesting question: ‘What would be some good questions to ask an organization for a theological audit’.

I know this is a broad question but between our Blog members you could offer David some suggestion.

I am going to attach a short section of something I wrote in my thesis that put David’s organization (World Made Flesh) in a possible scenario where theology was used in an

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Jesus placed a child in their midst, not on the stage. by Beth Barnett

Jesus placed a child in their midst, not on the stage.
Reflections on the 4-14 window conference, Singapore, Sept 5-9
Child theology: a worked example
Beth Barnett
Academic and Theological Transformation Track
What can this actually mean – without betraying our important prior commitment to relinquishing a grasp on children as tools or weapons or appliances in our own causes?
It cannot mean that we simply exchange children for adults in positions of power within systems that are fundamentally antithetical to the kingdom paradigm. There are movements which seek to do this – elevating children as imitators of adult preachers, prophets, missioners. It may mean that adults disengage from such systems, and in that freedom, develop new ways of relating with children, which neither objectify (as a means to an end) nor subjectify (as

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4-14 and Market forces – by John Collier

It’s only a few days old, but the vigorous response to this invitation from Bill threatens to make my observations redundant. But I might be able to bring another perspective – not as erudite and as theologically apt as those from Haddon and Beth but heartfelt nevertheless.

My observations are coloured by my long employment in research at multinational pharmaceutical companies. In that capacity, I seldom met the ‘marketers’ but we did interact occasionally and I saw examples of what they did. The description of Singapore brings to mind the pre-launch inspirational meetings for a new drug. There would be a conference, a large meeting room, motivational speeches, presentations and activities until the mass of ‘drug reps’ were stirred into a frenzy of excitement to take on their mission: make this

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